Ireland Box Office: 'Brooklyn' Has Biggest Opening for Homegrown Drama Since 1996's 'Michael Collins'

20th Century Fox

The drama with Saoirse Ronan opens to $652,200 in the country.

John Crowley’s Brooklyn this weekend had the biggest opening box office in Ireland for an Irish film since Michael Collins in 1996, Lionsgate U.K. said Monday.

The film opened to more than $652,200 (£432,000) in its home territory, overtaking recent Irish hits The Guard (£408,711), Angela's Ashes (£397,978), In Bruges (£344,481) and Calvary (£330,835), the distributor said.

"Opening on 87 screens resulted in making this screen count the largest ever in Ireland for an Irish film," it said. The studio didn't detail how it was specifically defining "Irish film." In the U.S., Fox Searchlight is releasing the film.

Lionsgate said it didn't count last year's comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which was distributed by Universal and opened to £820,000 in Ireland and was conceived by its Irish star and featured many Irish cast members, but didn't have major Irish funding and was an adaptation of a British TV show that was only partially shot in Dublin.

If one counts Mrs Brown as an Irish production, Brooklyn is at least the best-performing Irish drama in 19 years in its Ireland opening weekend.

After its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the movie also played at the Toronto International Film Festival and had a gala presentation at the BFI London Film Festival.

Brooklyn stars Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Atonement), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Anna Karenina), Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond the Pines), Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Julie Walters (Billy Elliot, Educating Rita).

Adapted from Colm Toibin’s New York Times bestseller by Nick Hornby and directed by John Crowley, the film focuses on a young woman (Ronan) who moves from small-town Ireland to Brooklyn, New York and finds work and love. When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she finds herself absorbed into her old community and "confronting a terrible dilemma — a heartbreaking choice between two men and two countries," according to a plot description.

Updated with information on Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

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